Behind the scenes: Carrie Brummer’s blueprint for building a community

Behind the scenes: Carrie Brummer’s blueprint for building a community
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After a decade dedicated to teaching teenagers, Carrie Brummer pivoted to focus exclusively on adults, many of whom are self-taught artists grappling with the nuances of their craft. 

This shift led to the creation of Artist Strong, an online school and community that has become a sanctuary for artists seeking to refine their skills and express themselves more confidently through their art. Through Artist Strong, Carrie leverages her extensive experience in the art world, including her active engagement in solo and group exhibitions. 

Carrie wanted to provide "a more asynchronous experience where people don't feel this like rush that they have to respond right away to things."

For years, Carrie struggled to find a platform—outside the confines of social media platforms—to host her growing community of artists. That’s when she turned to Teachable.

We recently interviewed Carrie to learn how she is building an impactful community on Teachable, balancing running a community with growing her existing course business, and how you can craft a community for your students.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this post…

  • Why is creating a community important for impact-focused creators?
  • What were some challenges that Carrie faced when building her community?
  • How is Carrie currently using a community to serve her students?
  • How can you start using Teachable to build a community?
"I always wanted a community component...I had a lot of people who would constantly email me, telling me that they don't want to be on social media all the time." -Carrie Brummer

Why is creating a community important for impact-focused creators?

For impact-focused creators like Carrie Brummer, building a community is essential for educational purposes and fostering a supportive network that enhances the transformative impact of their teachings. 

This shift was also motivated by the need for a focused space that was free from the distractions of social media, "They don't like that it sucks them into other things and that they'd be distracted."

By fostering a community, Carrie aims to provide a platform where artists can "fill in their learning gaps" and develop a strong voice in their artwork, away from the fast-paced and often superficial interactions on social media. 

What were some challenges that Carrie faced when building her community?

One of the primary hurdles was managing multiple platforms, which often confused and frustrated her students due to different logins and interfaces. Carrie discusses her students' difficulties with technology, noting, "People complain about having multiple logins; they don't like having to keep track of all of the passwords and how they sign into things." 

There were also numerous technical integration problems across platforms: "But we still had endless tech issues where people couldn't still use the single sign-on to get into the other platform."

Carrie also faced the logistical challenge of making sure that her students could easily access and utilize the community space without feeling overwhelmed: "And my students were constantly saying they tried to show up and they couldn't, and they'd give up because they were tired of trying." 

The frustration from these complications led her to search for a better solution, which she found in Teachable’s community feature. This feature allowed her to consolidate her educational content and community interactions in one place, greatly simplifying the user experience for her students.

"It's so much easier that they can go into the course, work on something in the program, and if it's not pertinent to the direct comments of that lesson, they can still hop on over to the community and post their art or get feedback or ask questions." -Carrie Brummer

The switch to Teachable also addressed the problem of student engagement and retention in the community.

By integrating the courses and community into a single platform, Carrie not only streamlined the process but also enhanced the interactive aspect of her teaching, thereby alleviating some of the major challenges she initially faced.

How is Carrie currently using a community to serve her students?

Carrie Brummer uses her Teachable community to enhance the learning experience by providing a structured, supportive environment where students can engage deeply with content, receive personalized feedback, and interact with peers. 

Carrie explains: "I have one signature program. It's called self-taught to self-confident. And that's where I spend most of my time." She structures this community around several vital activities:

  1. Weekly Check-Ins: "So one is called the weekly check-in... they need to post their questions and artwork before Monday because they have a call with me every Monday." This regular interaction ensures that students remain engaged and receive timely feedback that helps them progress.
  2. Art Sharing and Feedback: "Then I also wanted them to have a space where they could just post things like accountability... I don't really need feedback on them, but I wanted to show you guys I'm showing up." Carrie encourages continuous sharing to foster a habit of regular practice and community support.
  3. Celebrating Wins: "And the third category for self-taught to self-confident is actually a wins category. I'm trying to make sure they're actually promoting and celebrating their strengths." Highlighting successes is crucial for building confidence and motivating students.

By facilitating these structured interactions, Carrie’s community goes beyond typical course offerings, providing a space where students can grow their skills and develop their artistic voices in a supportive, interactive environment.

Start building your community on Teachable

Are you looking for a place to host your growing community? Teachable offers the tools and support you need to create an engaging and supportive environment, much like Carrie Brummer has with her community.

 By leveraging Teachable's integrated features, you can facilitate meaningful discussions, share resources more efficiently, and encourage peer-to-peer support among your students.

When you set up your community on Teachable, you’ll get access to…

  • Structured Interaction: Organize your community into categories that promote ease of use and enhance member interaction.
  • Seamless Course Integration: Connect your courses directly to community discussions to provide a comprehensive learning experience.
  • Active Engagement: Keep your community lively with multimedia posts, regular challenges, and celebratory milestones to encourage continuous participation.
  • Supportive Environment: Foster a welcoming space that encourages new members to participate and existing members to thrive.

Teachable simplifies the management of your courses and community and amplifies the impact of your educational content. With all the tools in one place, you can focus more on teaching and less on tech challenges.

Ready to start your community? Click here to use Teachable to set up and manage your courses and community.

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